Friday, June 26, 2015, was an historic day in the United States. In a 5-4 decision, our Supreme Court declared that homosexual men and women have the constitutional right to marry. It is important for Christians to think biblically in response to events such as these, and on Sunday, June 28, I listed 9 truths to remember at times like these.
First and foremost, Jesus Christ is still Lord. God is still sovereign. History is not spinning out of control; it is still moving toward the end God has designed. No human authority has the last say on matters of morality. God does.In addition, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be destroyed. She will suffer, but she won’t die. Jesus promises that the gates of hell will not prevail against her. When world events tempt us to forget this, we should reread the book of Revelation.
Second, the church’s message hasn’t changed. While we want to lovingly speak truth in the face of lies, we must remember that the mission of the church is not to convince the world that marriage is between one man and one woman. Our mission is to preach the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Heterosexuality will not save our friends and neighbors. The only thing that saves is the gospel of Christ.
Third, we should not be surprised when the world suppresses the truth in unrighteousness. Romans 1 says this is what sinners do in their sin. Also, we should not be surprised when those who suppress the truth hate, mock, and seek to oppress those who love and lift up the truth. Those who first hated Jesus also hate those who follow Jesus (cf. John 15:18-20).
Fourth, we should love our neighbor as ourselves. Whether or not our neighbors share our convictions and morality, God commands us to love them. This includes our gay/lesbian neighbors. After all, our enemies are not flesh/blood. They are rulers, authorities, power, and spiritual forces of evil. Loving our neighbors is based on the love of Jesus for us. Our Savior is absolutely holy and therefore radically different from us; yet. He loves us. Therefore, we should love others. We don’t compromise biblical truth, but we should treat gospel opponents with kindness and grace.
Fifth, we must respectfully refuse to submit to the Supreme Court’s decision. No legislature or state has ever defined marriage. The Creator of marriage defines it in His Word. So, when biblical morality differs from the morality put forward in the law of the land, we say with the apostles, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Sixth, we must live out the Bible we proclaim. In times like these, it is critical that Christians are truly living as Christians. Marriage is not just heterosexual marriage. It is a covenant relationship where two sinners seek to repent, walk by faith, and please the Lord in all things. It is also a covenant relationship that God intends to last for life. So, if we care about marriage as we say we do, we must live in our marriages as God instructs.
Seventh, we must respond as a congregation, and we have. On July 19, we affirmed a congregational position paper on marriage and sexuality, clarifying our church’s position on this crucial matter. We also revised our wedding policy and facilities usage policy, so that all activities on our property must be in accordance with our congregation’s beliefs..
Eighth, we should grieve anytime sin gains ground in our lives, our churches, or our society. We know that the light of Christ shines best in the dark, but we don’t love the dark. We look forward to the day when there is no more darkness and the light of Christ is all that we’ll see.
Ninth, we should pray for those who govern us at the federal, state, and local levels. We should also pray for one another all the more, so that we might continue to stand for truth and glorify God in these days.